Before I get to these deliciously quick and easy Cranberry Apple Skillet Pork Medallions, I need to work through some things. It’s official. I have lost all control over how cute (and, more importantly, not cute) my kids are on Halloween. My stellar Halloween costuming ideas no longer hold influence over them anymore.
Since independent decisions entered the picture, I have been robbed of all joy choreographing their costumes. Of course I knew I wasn’t going to be able to dictate this forever, but it doesn’t make it any easier to come to grips with. Presenting costumes with great fanfare was so much in my wheelhouse, they never even realized there was a whole world out there where the kids choose what they wanted to be.
It all came to a screeching halt when my 8 year old son, Nolan, wanted nothing more this year than to be Jason for Halloween, the Friday the 13th chainsaw murderer.
He begged me for the bloody hockey mask and jersey a thousand times a day, to which I would always retort, “Why do you want to be Jason?!” Being that he has never even seen the movies, or even has zero desire to, I just didn’t get it. I was really hoping he would just let it go, but his pleas only grew stronger (and more annoying).
Keenly, it dawned on me a way my sweet boy wouldn’t traipse around dressed like a serial killer.
“I will buy you the costume, but you have to watch ALL the Friday the 13th movies first. By yourself. Without a blanket to cover your face.”
Naturally he started to cry, which kind of just solidified my point. Why did he want to dress like that?!
But then I recalled being little and wanting nothing more than to pick out my costume from a store rack full of crisp, new, mass-produced guises. I never did get to don a creepy, plastic Cabbage Patch Kid mask and replica vinyl dress because my mom couldn’t pass up the perfectly sensible (and free) foraged gypsy and hobo costumes we all took turns wearing year after year. Then, or even now, could I articulate what a gypsy is, but, hey, when else was the crocheted purple shawl going to be utilized? And did I mention it was free?
So this year, I fold. My kids from here on out can be whatever cookie-cutter, unimaginative character they want to be, and I will just hold on to the sweet, non-argumentative years.
I know, right? Tears. Streaming. Down my face. One day they won’t even dress up for Haloween anymore! Make it stop!
We are going to need some comfort food, followed up with a very aggressive cake. Don’t let the ingredient list of this meal deter you. You probably have mostly everything right in your kitchen, and they are very quick and easy to throw together. In fact, you can probably easily whip this up while some kids jump into some uninspired Halloween costumes…
- 1 medium apple, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 16 oz. pork tenderloin, sliced diagonally about 2 inches thick
- 1 tbsp. butter
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients together except pork and butter. Set aside.
In a large non-stick skillet, brown pork chops in butter. Stir in fruit mixture and bring to a boil.
Cover skillet, reduce to simmer, and cook pork chops and apple mixture until apples are tender and pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn pork medallions and stir apples about halfway through.
If you'd like your sauce a little thicker, remove pork chops and keep warm. Simmer sauce uncovered 1-2 minutes until reduced and thickened.